Batticaloa – Quick Guide to The Land of Singing Fish

Lighthouse Beach view, Batticaloa

Batticaloa is a major city in the eastern province of sri lanka which is also called as Mattakalappu (மட்டக்களப்பு) in Tamil and Mattakalappuwa (මඩකලපුව) in Sinhala. It is situated 111km south from Trincomalee and 110km north from Pottuvil. 

This vibrant city offers a stunning collection of beaches, history, culture and mind blowing sights and scenes and also the iconic singing fishes indeed. 

Climatic Conditions in Batticaloa

Batticaloa has two climatic conditions on a year; Tropical wet climate and dry climate. The climate of Batticaloa city is mostly warm with few differences due to the monsoonal rains. If you wanna visit to Batticaloa, try to book your tickets between April – October as it is best for you to wander the city with sunny warm weather.

How to reach Batticaloa?

Batticolao can be reached by various modes of transport. The following points would guide you to reach Batticaloa from Colombo, Capital city of Sri Lanka.

  • Private Transport [Car/Van]
  • Train: 
    • Colombo – Batticoloa [Departure Time:- 6:10AM | 7:15PM]
    • Baticaloa – Colombo: [ Departure Time:- 7:15AM | 8.15PM]
  • Bus: You can book Public or Private busses from the Bus stand itself.

What to do in Batticaloa?

There are so many things to do in Batticaloa. Here some of the popular attractions are listed out so you can explore batticaloa easily. Such places to visit in Batticaloa are;

1. Batticaloa Lagoon

Batticaloa is also known as “the land of singing fish” because of a kind of a fish in the batti lagoon which makes sounds similar to the musical notes. Other than the fish of fantasy world, tourists can also watch jelly fish here and there in the lagoon. Several boat rides are available in  the batti lagoon such as kayak, paddle boat or swan boat. So you can grab a ride and enjoy sailing in the evening.

2. Pasikudah

Pasikudah is one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka and it is on the top among the sandy beaches in the island. It is situated 35km north from Batticaloa city. The shallow waters of this beach attracts several tourists all around the world. If you love sunny weather and sandy beaches to swim without worries, Pasikudah is the right choice for you.

3. Batticalao Dutch Fort

Although this city is best known for its natural attractions, it has a colonial history to add to its list. The old dutch fort of Batticaloa is situated in a coastal area known as Puliyan Theevu/ Puliyanthivu. The Puliyantheevu fort was created in 1628 by a portugese settlement in Matta- kalappu later captured and reconstructed by dutch . It was built on the island of Puliyanyhivu and extends beyond into the batti lagoon. This magnificent creation of the foreign colonies of Sri Lanka has been used for various colonial trade activities. And it is admired by the people even now.

4. Colonial Buildings of Batticaloa

In fact Batticaloa is one of the popular cities in the Eastern Sri Lanka to hold the cultural and historical monuments of the colonial era. 

St. Mary’s Cathedral, situated in Puliyanthivu area is one of the well known churches in Batticaloa district which was built by the dutch few centuries back is still stand as a icon of Dutch colonization in the eastern Sri Lanka.

Next you can also explore the colonial school buildings in Batticalao such as St. Michael’s college and St. Vincent’s girls high school.

Batticaloa gate is a treat for the photogenic instagrammers. It was also built by dutch in the 17th century and still holds its unique dutch look till the date. Take a photo from this beautiful colonial monument and and share your wonderful journey to the world.

5. Batticaloa local Market.

The colorful spices, fresh fish and vegetables  to spectacular handmade handicrafts can be available in the Batticalao market. All your needs can be fulfilled by the products that are available here.  The friendly local merchants will welcome you with a pleasant smile so you can have a friendly chat and buy their products with some discounts.

6. Islands of Batticaloa

There are few tiny islands near the batticaloa city. Bona island, Mantivu and Buffalo island are name a few. So many inland and migrating birds come here all around the world just to enjoy the summer just like you. 

The best place to watch the birds is Palameenmadu Tower which helps you to watch the migrating birds from the hight so you can enjoy the bird watching and the stunning view of the lagoon from above.

7. Kalkudah 

In order to sum up your summer fun, If you need another beach to enjoy your trip to Batticaloa, Kalkudah is there for you with soothing sceneries of sandy beach. Kalkudah is located on the north from Pasikuda which takes about a 15 minutes ride from Pasikudah.  Many locals visit here in the evening as it is very popular among the locals. If you are lucky enough to see the sunrise from this beach, you will definitely come another day just to enjoy the view again.

Hotels in Batticaloa

In brief, this beautiful city offers a great deal for travellers by giving cheap priced hotels with high quality services. 4 Hotels have been listed out here recommended by TripAdvisor


The cultural city of Batticaloa is standing as a highlight of eastern coast of Sri Lanka for Sandy Beach lovers. And its beautiful lagoon will never let you go without amazing memories. The land of singing fish is definitely a must visited destination in Eastern Sri Lanka.

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